Friday 16th February 2018

SONS head south to Oswestry tomorrow, with the destination being Park Hall Stadium, home of the The New Saints for the Irn Bru Cup semi-final clash against the Welsh Premier League side.

This will be Sons first-ever appearance in the last four of this competition in all its incarnations and it’s a game that boss Stevie Aitken is keen to play.

He said: “In terms of what’s important in our season, it’s fair to say that league business takes priority but getting a good run in any cup competition is always welcome.

“We’ve done well in the Irn Bru Cup and to get to the last four is an achievement in itself.

“Having already played a Welsh club in a previous round, we’ve got a bit of experience as to the style of our opponents tomorrow, but with cup games, things tend to be different.

“TNS are Welsh Champions, operate in a full-time environment and play European football, so we are well aware of what’s in front of us.”

The manager has had TNS watched – by himself!

“We made the journey to Oswestry last Friday to watch them play Bangor City. It was a comfortable win for TNS and we learned a lot from the experience.

“It’s not often that Dumbarton get to the latter stages of cup competitions and we will be enjoying the experience, as will our fans, of that I have no doubt.”

Match Details: Irn Bru Cup Semi-Final – The New Saints (TNS) v Dumbarton, Saturday 17th February 2018 – Park Hall Stadium, Oswestry. Kick-off 7.35pm.

Match Officials: The referee tomorrow night will be Neil Doyle. Neil is an Irish international official and is FIFA listed. Domestically, he operates normally in the League of Ireland. His assistants will be Phil Thomas and Ian Bird. The fourth official is Rob Jenkins.

Any player links? Yes, two! Steven Saunders and Jon Routledge. Both players had spells at the Sons (under Stevie Aitken) with Saunders making 27 appearances (4 goals) and Routledge 38. Routledge actually made his debut for Sons in this very competition, playing in the 3-2 win against Morton in July 2015.

What’s the team news? There are a number of players unavailable tomorrow through injuries and being cup-tied. Andy Stirling, Liam Dick, Kevin Nisbet and Aidan Wilson are all out having played in the tournament already for previous clubs. Chris McLaughlin, Grant Gallagher and Sam Wardrop remain sidelined because of injury and added to that list is Tom Walsh who won’t play tomorrow.

Alan Findlay

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